More initiatives approved for November ballot

November’s ballot got a lot more crowded today as Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced three more weighty ballot measures have qualified to be put to voters:

    An initiative to repeal recent legislation that would let businesses carry back losses, share tax credits and use a sales-based income calculation to lower taxable income – what the measure’s proponents say are corporate tax loopholes costing the state $2.5 billion per year. Opponents call it a “jobs tax” that will cripple the state’s already-damaged economy.
    An initiative to increase the legislative vote requirement to two-thirds for state levies and charges, and impose an additional requirement for voters to approve local levies and charges. The measure, put forth by California Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Allen Zaremberg and supported by anti-tax groups, would mean a “potentially major decrease in state and local revenues and spending, depending upon future actions of the Legislature, local governing bodies, and local voters,” according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office and state Finance Department as summarized by the state Attorney General’s office.
    An initiative to change the legislative vote requirement for passing a budget from two-thirds to a simple majority – in general, beloved by Democrats and reviled by Republicans.

Add these to the Water Supply Act placed on the ballot by the Legislature, as well as the marijuana legalization initiative; the congressional redistricting initiative; the vehicle license surcharge for state parks initiative; the local revenue protection initiative; and the AB 32 rollback initiative, and we’ve now got nine propositions on November’s ballot – almost all of them with big implications for California’s future.

UPDATE @ 10:02 P.M.: Make it an even 10; the folks at the Secretary of State’s office, burning the after-hours oil, tonight announced that yet another initiative has qualified for November’s ballot. This one would eliminate the state commission on redistricting (created by Proposition 11 of 2008) and put authority for redistricting back in the hands of the Legislature.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • I am waiting for an initiative that declares a moratorium on initiatives.

  • Common Tater

    November is shaping up to be the most contentious election in California history. These must be the “interesting times” that are mentioned in the Chinese curse.

  • steve weir

    I second Edi’s motion.

    p.s., Hi, John W. It was a pleasure to meet you this morning!

  • Jerry Goar

    I also agree with Edi’s motion.

  • John W

    Great meeting you too, Steve.

    I’ll third Edi’s motion, sort of. But here’s a conundrum. If we eliminate ballot initiatives, we’d have to cut Steve’s salary, due to the lightened workload, right? Just kidding. The real question is this: If we eliminate ballot initiatives, then how do we get rid of all the crud that’s embedded in statutes and the state constitution due to previous initiatives?

    I’d love a catch-all vote to sunset all laws and constitutional amendments previously voted in (and virtually locked in by previous generations with no realistic way for future generations to revisit them). Then, if voters now alive still wanted them, they could vote to reinstate them. Of course, if we eliminated initiatives, they wouldn’t be able to do that.

  • steve weir

    On October 11, 1911, There were twenty-three measures put before the voters of California. Four impacted the electoral process. We implemented the intitiative, referendum, recall and we gave women the vote. This was part of Governor Hyram Johnson’s governmental reform. Big Business (Southern Pacific) controlled the legislature, and the initiative was a way to weaken that grip. Fast forward, the initiative process has morphed into being a tool of the moneyed interests (anyone who can pay the $1 to $5 million to place something before the voters.)

    Seems like the cure has become part of the problem.

  • I used the word moratorium, as in a temporary break. Maybe a 5 year break would be enough and then we can start cautiously there after. The dynamics of the political system with the initiatives removed could be a very positive thing in that the focus and accountability intensifies on getting elected officials to do what they were elected to. It is a gamble and is ripe with potential disappointment, but the acidic churn from politics as it is now in the pit of my stomach and lower extremities sort of makes me want to take the risk on going for a moratorium.

  • John W

    Well, here we are, almost 100 years later. Wonder what Hiram would think of what has become of his reforms. Something along the lines of, “oops, that’s not exactly what I had in mind.”

  • JK

    Speaking of water supply acts:

    It’s Day 69 of the Gulf Oil Spill Disaster–
    There is now clear evidence that the negligence by the Obama Administration caused the destruction of the Gulf coastline.

    ** The feds only accepted assistance from 5 of 28 countries.
    ** It took the Obama Administration 53 days to accept help from the Dutch and British.
    ** It took them 58 days to mobilize the US military to the Gulf.
    ** The feds shut down crude-sucking barges due to fire extinguisher concerns.
    ** The Obama Administration ignore oil boom manufacturers that have miles of product stockpiled in their warehouses.
    ** They only have moved 31 of 2,000 oil skimmers to the disaster area off of Florida.
    ** Florida hired an additional 5 skimmer boats to operate off its coast due to federal inaction.
    ** There are no skimmer boats off the coast of Mississippi.
    ** The feds shut down sand berm dredging off the Louisiana coast.
    ** The president continues to hit the golf course, ball games, hold BBQ’s and party while the crude oil washes up on shore.

  • Josh Richman

    Not that this anything to do at all with this blog post’s topic, but…

    Here’s more on the offers of foreign aid, almost all of which have come with price tags.

    The military was there starting about 10 days after the explosion.

    Some barges were shut down for a few hours, perhaps as much as a day, due to safety concerns.

    Some boom manufacturers seem to be churning the equipment out as fast as possible to meet the demand, although there does indeed seem to be at least one that had a stockpile the government didn’t seem to jump on.

    It certainly sounds as if skimming operations could’ve been better coordinated, although there has been some skimming off Mississippi.

    More boom and skimming boats are definitely desirable, but no matter how many are deployed, oil will reach the Gulf’s shores anyway.

    The feds shut down the sand-berm dredging because Louisiana officials apparently were trading today’s environmental disaster for tomorrow’s.

  • Elwood

    Re: #10:

    Price tag?

    Since when has a price tag deterred the Obama regime from anything they wanted to do?